Bisexuals don’t have it easy in the LGBTQ community. A lot of gay people think “bisexuality doesn’t exist” and that bi people are either lying, confused or easing their way into full-fledged gayness. Others think that the 80% of bisexuals who end up in different-sex relationships are “actually straight” (which is wrong). So to remind people that bisexuality is an actual thing — even when dating different-sex partners — a 23-year-old student named Pip has started making buttons that say: Still Bisexual.
Pip, a veterinary medicine student and journalist, created the buttons when they discovered that no bisexual groups were marching in this year’s London Pride parade. Pip is now selling them for $10 on pre-order on Etsy.
Pip tells Metro UK, “I have noticed an uptick of animosity towards bisexual people (women in particular) in the LGBTQ+ community of late. We’re constantly forced to prove ourselves to be accepted by our peers…. I was sick of feeling constantly closeted unless I explicitly used the word bisexual to describe myself, and thought it would be cool to wear a subtle but decisive declaration of who I was… I also don’t want to have to explain it to everyone all the time!”
In 2016, bisexual writer Kristina Marusic discussed a 2013 Pew Research LGBT Survey that found 84% of self-identified bisexuals in committed different-sex relationships. Marusic attributed this not only because 96% of the U.S. population identifies as straight, but also because “a large number of gay men and lesbians still flat-out refuse to date bisexuals.”
This sort of biphobia also creates health disparities among bisexual people, as some bi folks may feel hesitant to reveal their sexuality to family doctors, therapists and other institutional professionals.
Sex advice columnist Dan Savage once advised bisexuals to regularly come out to their friends, families and co-workers to help end bi-erasure, lest everyone think that bi people magically become straight (or gay) when they’re in a relationship.
Pip’s Still Bisexual buttons are a good reminder that bisexuality never goes away, no matter your relationship status.